At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.
They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.
There are a couple of new things the Lord pointed out to me as I read about the Tower of Babel recently. One, He made us to be great. Certainly, do not miss the point that man wanted to be great in his own eyes and build monuments to himself and not God.
But in verse 6 God says, if they can accomplish this they will take advantage of their common language and political unity and nothing will be impossible for them. God made people great. But He also made people to want to be great for Him and not for themselves.
The next thing that happens is that everyone is given a different language to speak. It reminds me of Acts 2:4, on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled everyone there and they began speaking in other languages. Babel was confusion, but the Day of Pentecost was when everyone understood each other although they were speaking different languages. So what does that mean to me?
There is oneness in the Spirit.
God created us to be great. And He created us to be one in the Spirit. Languages, ethnicities, and hierarchies are irrelevant when everyone is operating in the Spirit as one. Now, we must ask ourselves, have we done a great job of speaking the Word of God?